Un beneficio ( / / ) o de estar es una recompensa recibida a cambio de los servicios prestados y como retenedor para servicios futuros. El Imperio Romano usó el término latino beneficium como un beneficio para un individuo del Imperio por los servicios prestados. Su uso fue adoptado por la Iglesia Occidental en la Era Carolingia como un beneficio otorgado por la corona o los funcionarios de la iglesia. Un beneficio específicamente de una iglesia se llama precaria (pl. Precariae) , como unestipendio , y uno de un monarca o un noble generalmente se llama feudo . Un beneficio es distinto de un allod , en que un allod es una propiedad de propiedad absoluta, no otorgada por una autoridad superior.
Iglesia católica romana
Orígenes imperiales romanos
En la antigua Roma, un beneficio era un regalo de tierra ( precaria ) de por vida como recompensa por los servicios prestados, originalmente, al estado. La palabra proviene del sustantivo latino beneficium , que significa "beneficio".
En el siglo VIII, aprovechando su posición como alcalde del palacio, Carlos Martel , Carlomán I y Pipino II usurparon una gran cantidad de beneficios de la iglesia para distribuirlos a vasallos, y más tarde los carolingios continuaron esta práctica como emperadores. Estas propiedades fueron retenidas a cambio de juramentos de asistencia militar, lo que ayudó mucho a los carolingios a consolidar y fortalecer su poder.  Carlomagno (emperador 800-814) continuó con el concepto romano tardío de otorgar beneficios a cambio del servicio militar y administrativo de su imperio. Así, la estructura imperial estaba unida a través de una serie de juramentos entre el monarca y el receptor de la tierra (y los ingresos resultantes)  (ver Feudo ). Ordenó y administró su reino y más tarde su imperio a través de una serie de estatutos publicados llamados capitularios . El Capitulario de Herstal (779 d.C.) distinguió entre sus vasallos que eran llamados casati (sing. Casatus ) y non-casati , es decir, los súbditos que habían recibido un beneficio de la mano del rey y los que no, y
Hacia el final del reinado de Carlomagno, parece que un vasallo real que hubiera cumplido satisfactoriamente con sus deberes siempre podía esperar la concesión de un beneficio en alguna parte del Imperio. Una vez que hubiera recibido un beneficio, fijaría su residencia en él; era muy raro que un vassus casatus continuara trabajando en el palacio. 
En el año 800, el Papa León III colocó la corona de Emperador del Sacro Imperio Romano Germánico sobre la cabeza de Carlomagno .  Este acto causó una gran conmoción para las generaciones futuras, que luego argumentarían que el emperador recibió su puesto como un beneficio del papado. En su Dictatus Papae de marzo de 1075 , el Papa Gregorio VII declaró que solo el Papa podía deponer a un emperador, lo que implicaba que podía hacerlo así como un señor podría quitarle un beneficio a un vasallo. Esta declaración enardeció al emperador Enrique IV del Sacro Imperio Romano Germánico y aumentó la fricción causada en el Conflicto de la Investidura . 
Iglesia católica en la Edad Media
La práctica expandida continuó durante la Edad Media dentro del sistema feudal europeo . Este mismo método habitual fue adoptado por la Iglesia Católica.
Las corrientes de ingresos de la iglesia provenían, entre otras cosas, de las rentas y ganancias que surgen de los activos donados a la iglesia, su dotación , otorgada por los creyentes, ya sea monarca, señor de la mansión o vasallo, y más tarde también sobre los diezmos calculados sobre la venta de el producto del trabajo personal de la gente en toda la parroquia, como la ropa o el calzado, y las ganancias de la gente de formas específicas de crecimiento natural igualmente dado por Dios, como las cosechas y la ganadería.
Inicialmente la Iglesia Católica otorgó edificios, concesiones de tierras y diezmos mayores y / o menores de por vida, pero la tierra no fue enajenada de las diócesis . Sin embargo, el Concilio de Lyon de 566 anexó estas subvenciones a las iglesias. En la época del Consejo de Mainz de 813, estas subvenciones se conocían como beneficiosas .
Tener un beneficio no implicaba necesariamente la curación de las almas, aunque cada beneficio tenía una serie de deberes espirituales asociados. Por cumplir con estos deberes, un sacerdote recibiría " temporalidades " .
Los beneficios se utilizaron para el apoyo mundano de gran parte de su clero pastoral: el clero obtenía recompensas por llevar a cabo sus deberes con derecho a ciertos ingresos, los "frutos de su cargo". El donante original de las temporalidades o su representante, el patrón [n 1] y sus derechohabientes, celebrada el advowson (derecho a nominar un candidato para el sujeto después de la aprobación del obispo u otro prelado como a la suficiencia del candidato para las demandas del correo).
Parish priests were charged with the spiritual and temporal care of their congregation. The community provided for the priest as necessary, later, as organisation improved, by tithe (which could be partially or wholly lost to a temporal lord or patron but relief for that oppression could be found under canon law).
Some individual institutions within the church accumulated enormous endowments and, with that, temporal power. These endowments sometimes concentrated great wealth in the "dead hand" (mortmain) of the church, so called because it endured beyond any individual's life. The church was exempt from some or all taxes. This was in contrast to feudal practice where the nobility would hold land on grant from the king in return for service, especially service in war. This meant that the church over time gained a large share of land in many feudal states and so was a cause of increasing tension between the church and the Crown.
The holder of more than one benefice, later known as a pluralist, could keep the revenue to which he was entitled and pay lesser sums to deputies to carry out the corresponding duties.
By a Decree of the Lateran Council of 1215 no clerk could hold two benefices with cure of souls, and if a beneficed clerk took a second benefice with cure of souls, he vacated ipso facto his first benefice. Dispensations, however, could be easily obtained from Rome.
The benefice system was open to abuse. Acquisitive prelates occasionally held multiple major benefices. The holding of more than one benefice is termed pluralism (unrelated to the political theory of the same name). An English example was Stigand, Archbishop of Canterbury (1052–72).
After the Reformation, the new denominations generally adopted systems of ecclesiastical polity that did not entail benefices and the Second Vatican Council (1962–1965) called "for the abandonment or reform of the system of benefices".
The French Revolution replaced France's system by the Civil Constitution of the Clergy following debates and a report headed by Martineau in 1790, confiscating all endowments of the church, which was until then the highest order (premier ordre) of the Ancien Régime; instead, the state awarded a salary to the formerly endowment-dependent clergy, and abolished canons, prebendaries and chaplains. This constitution kept the separation between the nomination (advowson) and the canonical institution (benefice/living, which conferred a jurisdiction) but the state set a fixed system of salaries and would elect the metropolitan bishops who in turn would elect the curates.
Parts of these changes remain such as the abolition of the three historic roles mentioned and the constitution is still in force in Belgium.
Iglesia de Inglaterra
The term benefice, according to the canon law, denotes an ecclesiastical office (but not always a cure of souls) in which the incumbent is required to perform certain duties or conditions of a spiritual kind (the "spiritualities") while being supported by the revenues attached to the office (the "temporalities").
The spiritualities[n 2] of parochial benefices, whether rectories, vicarages or perpetual curacies, include due observation of the ordination vows and due solicitude for the moral and spiritual welfare of the parishioners. The temporalities are the revenues of the benefice and assets such as the church properties and possessions within the parish.
By keeping this distinction in mind, the right of patronage in the case of parochial benefices ("the advowson") appears logical, being in fact the right, which was originally vested in the donor of the temporalities, to present to his bishop a clerk to be admitted, if found fit by the bishop, to the office to which those temporalities are annexed. In other words, the gift of the glebe which can be called a rectory manor or church furlong was only ever granted subject to receiving an incorporeal hereditament (inheritable and transferable right) for the original donor.
Nomination or presentation on the part of the patron of the benefice is thus the first requisite in order that a clerk should become legally entitled to a benefice. The next requisite is that he should be admitted by the bishop as a fit person for the spiritual office to which the benefice is annexed, and the bishop is the judge of the sufficiency of the clerk to be so admitted.
Suitability of parochial clergy
Under the early constitutions of the Church of England a bishop was allowed a space of two months to inquire and inform himself of the sufficiency of every presentee, but by the 95th of the Canons of 1604 that interval was reduced to 28 days, within which the bishop must admit or reject the clerk. If the bishop rejects the clerk within that time he is liable to a duplex querela (Latin: "double complaint", the procedure in ecclesiastical law for challenging a bishop's refusal to admit a presentee to a benefice) in the ecclesiastical courts or to a quare impedit in the common law courts, and the bishop must then certify the reasons of his refusal.
In the rare cases where the patron happens to be a clergyman (a clerk in orders) and wishes to be admitted to the benefice of his own advowson, he must proceed by way of petition instead of by deed of presentation, reciting that the benefice is in his own patronage, and petitioning the bishop to examine him and admit him.
Upon the bishop having satisfied himself of the sufficiency of the clerk, he proceeded to institute him to the spiritual office to which the benefice is annexed, but before such institution could take place, the clerk had to make the declaration of assent, the Thirty-nine Articles of Religion and the Book of Common Prayer, take the oaths of allegiance and canonical obedience and make a declaration against simony. The first was laid down by the Canons of 1603/04 and modified by the Clerical Subscription Act 1865 which also prescribed the form of the declaration against simony; the words of the oath of allegiance accorded to the form in the Promissory Oaths Act 1868. Current practice is to make a declaration of assent to the doctrine and liturgical practice of the Church of England, and take the oaths of allegiance and canonical obedience as defined by Canons of the Church of England.
The bishop, by the act of institution, commits to the presentee the cure of souls attached to the office to which the benefice is annexed. In cases where the bishop himself is patron of the benefice, no presentation or petition is required to be tendered by the clerk, but the bishop having satisfied himself of the sufficiency of the clerk, collates him to the benefice and office. A bishop need not personally institute or collate a clerk; he may issue a fiat to his vicar-general or to a special commissary for that purpose.
After the bishop or his commissary has instituted the presentee, he issues a mandate under seal, addressed to the archdeacon or some other neighbouring clergyman, authorizing him to induct the clerk into his benefice – in other words, to put him into legal possession of the temporalities, which is done by some outward form, and for the most part by delivery of the bell-rope to the presentee, who then tolls the church bell. This form of induction is required to give the clerk a legal title to his beneficium,[n 3] although his admission to the office by institution is sufficient to vacate any other benefice which he may already possess.
A benefice is avoided or vacated
- by death;
- by resignation, if the bishop is willing to accept the resignation. (Before the introduction of the Church of England Pensions Board, by the Incumbents' Resignation Act 1871 (Amendment) Act 1887, any clergyman who had been an incumbent of one benefice continuously for seven years, and became incapacitated by permanent mental or bodily infirmities from fulfilling his duties, could, if the bishop thought fit, have a commission appointed to consider the fitness of his resigning; and if the commission reported in favour, he could, with the consent of the patron (or, if that is refused, with the consent of the archbishop) resign the cure of souls into the bishop's hands, and have assigned to him, out of the benefice, a retiring pension not exceeding one third of its annual value, recoverable as a debt from his successor);
- by cession, upon the clerk being instituted to another benefice or some other preferment incompatible with it;
- by deprivation and sentence of an ecclesiastical court; under the Clergy Discipline Act 1892, an incumbent who has been convicted of offences against the law of bastardy, or against whom judgment has been given in a divorce or matrimonial cause, is deprived, and on being found guilty in the consistory court of immorality or ecclesiastical offences (not in respect of doctrine or ritual), he may be deprived or suspended or declared incapable of preferment;
- by act of law in consequence of simony;
- by default of the clerk in neglecting to read publicly in the church the Book of Common Prayer, and to declare his assent thereto within two months after his induction, pursuant to an act of 1662;
- more recently, also on reaching statutory retirement age.
Pluralism in England
Dispensation, enabling a clerk to hold several ecclesiastical dignities or benefices at the same time, was transferred to the Archbishop of Canterbury by the Ecclesiastical Licences Act 1533,[n 4] certain ecclesiastical persons having been declared by a previous statute (of 1529) to be entitled to such dispensations. The system of pluralities carried with it, as a direct consequence, systematic non-residence on the part of many incumbents, and delegation of their spiritual duties in respect of their cures of souls to assistant curates. The evils attendant on this system were found to be so great that the Pluralities Act 1838 was passed to abridge the holding of benefices in plurality, requiring that no person should hold under any circumstances more than two benefices and such privilege was subject to the restriction that both benefices must be within 10 miles (16 km) of each other.
By the Pluralities Act 1850 restrictions were further narrowed so that no spiritual person could hold two benefices except the churches of such benefices within 3 miles (4.8 km) of each other by the nearest road, and the annual value of one of such benefices did not exceed £100. By this statute the term "benefice" is defined to mean "benefice with cure of souls" and no other, and therein to comprehend all parishes, perpetual curacies, donatives, endowed public chapels, parochial chapelries and chapelries or districts belonging or reputed to belong, or annexed or reputed to be annexed, to any church or chapel.
The Pluralities Acts Amendment Act 1885 superseded these, however, and enacted that by dispensation from the Archbishop of Canterbury, two benefices can be held together, the churches of which are within 4 miles (6.4 km) of each other, and the annual value of one of which does not exceed £200.
A benefice or living in the Church of England describes any ecclesiastical parish or group of ecclesiastical parishes under a single stipendiary minister, as well as its related historical meaning.
The term dates from the grant of benefices by bishops to clerks in holy orders as a reward for extraordinary services. The holder of a benefice owns the "freehold" of the post (the church and the parsonage house) for life.
Such a life freehold is now subject to certain constraints. To comply with European Regulations on atypical workers, the parson's freehold is being phased out in favour of new conditions of service called "common tenure".[n 5]
- In commendam
- Concordat of Worms
- Statutes of Mortmain
- Cestui que
- A patron would typically be a Lord of the Manor, noble or monarch as they would have initially have granted the land.
- It appears that the term "spiritualities" was used by a few authors to refer to the revenues received for the carrying out of spiritual responsibilities (see Chambers Twentieth Century Dictionary, 1954)
- Beneficium is a third alternative word, Latin for a living or benefice.
- Alternatively called the Peterpence, Dispensations, etc. Act 1534
- The term "common tenure" has been chosen to describe more accurately that a benefice has nothing to do with acquiring permanently a freehold property
- Gasthof, p. 157
- Hollister, pp. 120–121.
- Ganshof, p. 151
- Tierney, p. 22-3.
- Tierney, pp. 45–50
- Herbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). . Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company.
- ODCC art Benefice
- "Histoire apologétique du Comité ecclésiastique de l'Assemblée Nationale", by Durand de Maillane, in French, 1791.
- Constitution Civile du Clergé (Statute in French) Titre II, art. 19.
- . Encyclopædia Britannica. 3 (11th ed.). 1911. pp. 725–726.
- Church of England – Appointment of clergy based on an advowson
- Blunt J.H. and Phillimore Sir W.G.F, The Book of Church Law, Rivingtons, 1885, pp. 244, 202–3.
- "Canons 7th Edition". Retrieved 27 January 2016.
- Q&A on Common Tenure http://www.churchofengland.org/clergy-office-holders/common-tenure.aspx
- Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). . Encyclopædia Britannica. 3 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. pp. 725–726.
- Coredon, Christopher (2007). A Dictionary of Medieval Terms & Phrases (Reprint ed.). Woodbridge: D. S. Brewer. ISBN 978-1-84384-138-8.
- Creagh, J. T. (1913). . In Herbermann, Charles (ed.). Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company.
- Ganshof, F. L. “Benefice and Vassalage in the Age of Charlemagne”. Cambridge Historical Journal 6, No. 2 (1939): 147–175.
- Hollister, C. Warren, ed. Medieval Europe: A Short History. (New York: McGraw-Hill, 1994)
- ODCC = Cross & Livingstone, Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church (OUP, 1974)
- Tierney, Brian. The Crisis of Church and State 1050–1300. (Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Medieval Academy of America, 1988).